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The scoop on 'Farmer Seed and Nursery'

  Company Profile  
Farmer Seed and Nursery

Mailing Address:
818 NW 4th Street
Faribault, Minnesota 55021 (United States)

Phone: (507) 334-1623

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

» E-Mail them
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Recent reviews:
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Positive 0 0 0
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 1 2
This company is affiliated with Burgess Seed

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
19 positives
13 neutrals
135 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Negative krystikel
Hamilton, OH
(1 review)
December 6, 2020
I placed an online order on 5/13/20 for an unusual plant they advertised called Redbirds in a Tree. It was a bit overpriced, but it was so unusual, I went ahead and ordered two of them, thinking how nice they would look at each corner of my deck. They charged my card on 6/12/20 for $29.27, which was quite unusual, since they did not ship my order until 2 to 3 weeks after that. I received an order on 7/2/20, and it was awful!.

To begin with, they substituted a far inferior plant to what I had ordered. They shipped me 2 Cardinal lobelias, which I already had, didn’t order, didn’t need, and didn’t want. If they had asked me, I would have told them not to substitute anything, just hold on to my order until the correct plant was in stock. But no one asked, they just sent me a poorly selected substitute, which was probably some overstock they wanted to get rid of. The plants I ordered were short, bushy plants that were said to do well in poor soil and needed part sun, part shade. The Cardinal lobelias they sent me were a much less valuable plant, less than 1/3 the price of the ones I ordered. They are also a tall, spindly plant that needs full sun and rich soil. I know, because I already have several of them. So they were not at all suitable and would not grow where I wanted to plant them. The only thing the two plants have in common is the color – they are both red. On top of that, they charged me exorbitant shipping - $10.78 when the lobelias could have been shipped for about $3.00. And after the way I have been treated by this company, I think this may be their normal mode of operation – show unusual plants to get people to order, charge exorbitant shipping, make the return process complicated, and then find ways not to give people proper refunds.

They have a very exacting return policy, which I’m sure a lot of people won’t be able to follow, so they get to refuse refunds. I’ll bet they were hoping to get to keep the money I paid for a plant worth 3 times the ones they sent me. I, however, followed it to the letter, and I got a refund for the price I paid for the plants ONLY. But they refused to refund my shipping cost. Now, I agreed to pay $10.78 shipping on an unusual, special plant, not some cheap junk that I didn’t order and didn’t want. I complained to their customer service and all I got was the runaround and some smart alecky remarks from some self important teenager who has that “know-it-all” attitude. He never paid attention to the facts I told him, just kept telling me it was my fault that I hadn’t followed the return process, which I had already told him several times that I had. Then he refused my repeated requests to forward my complaint to his supervisor, each time saying his supervisor would tell me the same thing. Seriously? I worked customer service for 20 years and this guy should have been fired after 5 minutes! I even kept all his emails for proof.

This is a copy of the letter I sent to my credit card company disputing the charges from Farmers Seed. If you paid by credit card, dispute the charges for a refund. Also, I want to tell everyone who has been cheated by Farmers Seed to REPORT THEM TO THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL, look up the address online. I reported them and got the law involved, and they made them return the rest of my money. If they get a lot of complaints they will investigate this company and PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS!! So everyone report them, PLEASE!!!
Negative ameliabpg
Amelia Court House, VA
(1 review)
August 18, 2020
Wished I had checked this site before ordering! DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY. We ordered 3 plants and after waiting for months, we finally received them. 1 plant was dead and I immediately notified them. They said it was probably just dormant and to plant it and if after 6 weeks, it didn't come out, to return it and they would send another one. We did that, the plant was dead, returned it with the original label as instructed and have waited months again for a new plant. Too late to plant now, so I asked for a refund. They said they will not issue a refund because I didn't return the dead plant within 14 days of receiving it! That was because THEY told me to wait 6 weeks. Now they say the new plant will come in the spring of 2021!! Their customer service is horrible so stay away!!!! Can't say enough bad things about the run around with emails, and no need to even try to get through on the phone!!!
Negative Idahome
Boise, ID
(1 review)
April 7, 2020
I wish I had read reviews before I ordered. I spend $150 and I didnt get 2 of the items I ordered and I'm not crazy how they shipped everything. My bundle of 25 plants is literally rubber banded together. I'll see how they grow but I've emailed twice and haven't heard back and their phone number doesn't work.

I'll update this if I hear back but from what I've read here I doubt they will do anything.
Negative TooManyWeeds
Milford, DE
(1 review)
April 6, 2020
I ordered $159-worth of plants from your site in early January (1/4/2020, order number 1046683) and received a lionsmane log after about a month and 3 of the smaller plant items in the order about 4 weeks ago, however I am still missing the most important items and now is the ideal planting time
The missing items include winterberries, lilac, fig tree
I wrote to you but have not heard anything back.
Today I tried to call the number shown on your website however your number appears to be non-functional, my call was answered each of 6 times that I tried by a message which states "Your call cannot be completed at this time, please try again later" then "Message 6, US zero one LV"
This is very disappointing and frustrating.
If you have the plants that I ordered, please send them urgently. If you do not have the plants that I ordered, please refund my money so that I can try to buy them elsewhere.
If I do not hear from you and do not receive the plants that I ordered, I will have no choice but to start to make enquiries through your state authorities
Looking forward to hearing from you
Negative ezatnirad
Salisbury, NC
(1 review)
July 26, 2019
If there is anyway to give a rating below 'Negative', I would. I ordered several items and one item was replaced since they did not have it in stock with something totally different. The only way I noticed was that there was a small label with the item number on the roots (not tree) that they shipped. This item number did not match what was on the shipping label. So I tried emailing to get either a replacement or a refund. After no response for a few weeks, I try again. Still nothing. If you try calling, the number does not send you through and put you on hold. It just says they are busy and to call back later. After many attempts over the course of a month, I finally get through on a Saturday morning. I'm told I need to send in the shipping label (which of course I do not have) and they will replace my item. To their credit, they do say that this is their policy, but who keeps a shipping label for plants? She says that she is the call center and that the office is closed on Saturday and to try back later. Now I have tried again and after using an auto dialer, I bust through after a half hour of auto dialing. Now they tell me that since I don't have a shipping label, then I need to print out proof that I was deducted any amount from my bank or credit card. I forcefully object and ask to speak to someone in finance since they are only a call center. I'm then told that the main office does not accept calls and the only way they replace orders or refunds is by sending in the shipping label or some proof that I actually purchased something from them. Since I can pull up my account online, I have all the information they would need to refund my order, but since this is only a call center, they can't pull up my account to see. They claim to have been in business since 1933, but they are still operating their business like it is 1933. Nothing at all is reasonable about their policy and is purely designed to take your money and ship you whatever they desire. Run away and run fast from this company.
Negative gracelynn007
Harvey, LA
(2 reviews)
April 13, 2019
Ok so I am replying to all those who are posting on all sites against our negative experiences. I have googled Farmer seed & nursery and have come to realize that they are all part of the same group that are sending different catalogs and even emails. They are all listed on the same street. The problem I am seeing is the company is scamming people by saying they are different nurseries. I have seen more complaints about not being able to get calls through, and about if they don't save the shipping label the company wont honor their return policy. I have about 8 twigs that are supposed to be live plants and now I am seeing all these different catalogs are the same people. So here are all of the names, 1. Direct Gardening, 2.Farmer seed & nursery, 3.Exciting Gardens which is run through on your debit card as Richard Owens Nursery 4.Four Seasons and now I see on here 5.Burgess
These are all the same city and state and are listed as either Morissey Drive or Hamilton road. The catalogs are all the same and the plants arrive the same way. I am going to post this under all 5 of the nursery names reviews. Save your receipts and your packaging. I am sorry but no plant should have mold, and we should not have to accept the fact that dormant means dead plants that never revive. I think they are pulling sticks out of the woods. It is a shame because many plants are not carried by our local nurseries and us avid gardeners should not have to accept being messed over because who choose online shopping and trying to add diversity to our gardens. Please pass the word and please pass the word for those online garden centers we can use without getting robbed.
Negative ceresone
Willow Springs, MO (Zone 6b)
(12 reviews)
April 9, 2019
I received my order of dahlias and glads today. They are not worth the postage to refund! I have never been so disappointed in my life! Oh the 9 dahlias, only one might grow, the rest are already turning to dust. Actually! They look like the dead ones thrown away several years ago.
The glads are bulblets, smaller than a gumball from a machine.
Package also said Burgress, but anyway, don't waste your money on Farmers seed and nursery!
Positive BILL6267
Sparta, MO
(3 reviews)
October 8, 2018
Just rec'd 4 Kiwi. Very pleased with the health and size of them. Also you get instructions on how to plant them and many other plants.
Negative MaryArneson
Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b)
(15 reviews)
July 2, 2018
My husband ordered 3 roses for our Zone 4 Minneapolis garden, specifically choosing extra hardy varieties that Farmer Seed and Nursery claimed were in stock. The package arrived with a label stating that it contained 1 Cl(imbing) Orang(e) velvet rose and 2 Maria Stern Rose. Inside were 2 Double Knockout (zone 5 with protection), one Joseph's Coat (zone 5). I tried calling the company, which is located in Minnesota and ought to know the hardiness zones here, and all I get is a busy signal. My husband hadn't thought to check here before ordering, but when I looked, I realized that we're probably just out our $42.50. These plants are useless to us, because the place where we wanted to plant them will not have winter protection for zone 5 roses. All I want is a full refund. No vouchers.
Positive charliegirl607
Addison, NY
(1 review)
June 9, 2018
I ordered from Farmer Seed and Nursery back in 2016, my order arrived pretty quick compared to what I expected. I was very happy with the condition my plants were in.
I recently ordered from them again this past April 2018 my seeds came promptly but there was a little mishap concerning the plants I ordered. Lost in the mail dang old. I emailed the company and got a response very quick. They were very friendly and helpful. I should be receiving my plants as fast as the post man can carry it! Will not hesitate to purchase through them again. As true about anything mishaps happen to every company, these guys make it right quickly and kindly!
Positive Ricksjoseph
Elm City, NC
(1 review)
May 21, 2018
Placed a very small order of butterfly bushes even after reading all the negative reviews. After all most people only post after bad experiences, not good. I ordered from various nurseries this year to see if there was really any difference in customer service and quality of plants. Farmer seed was great. The bushes arrived well packaged and on time. I would definitely order from them again and won't be ordering from a couple other nurseries.
Negative Suze1
Dodge Center, MN
(6 reviews)
May 17, 2018
Never again will I order from this company. In January I placed a $65 order, along with other orders to other companies. In mid-May, I thought all the orders were in, but realized many items still hadn’t arrived. I checked my credit card statement. There was one company that hadn’t yet sent a delivery, and that was Farmer Seed.

I contacted them via their Web site, asking about the status of my order. In a series of Gaslight-type emails, they said they had no record of an order. They did reference an order from last year, which included 50 periwinkles (none of which lived), and two cherry trees (that were so scrawny, we planted them together as one tree.) Even when I sent a screen shot of my January 2018 credit card statement, they refused to issue a refund.

Luckily, my credit card company is reversing the Farmer Seed charge, and is filing a dispute with the company. I am also sending a complaint to the Minnesota Attorney General. Had I not contacted Farmer Seed about my order, they would have gotten away with fraud. What’s more, their email communications had no order number, no contact information, no employee name as other reputable companies have. My trust and confidence in this company is nil.
Negative scotto703
Toronto, SD
(1 review)
May 8, 2018
I placed and order with Farmer's Seeds, and there was a problem with the credit card I used (which was attempted after the order was placed). Rather than sending me an email, they just cancelled the order, and I didn't find out about it until a week or so later, when I inquired. I've had similar service levels before, and shouldn't use them again - next year I will not.
Negative AHALFORD85
Santa Fe, NM
(1 review)
May 5, 2018
I placed an order in march payment was taken out very quickly. I recieved a receipt and nothing else after i have asked where my order is, I am told it will ship when available. The items should have been available at time of order. I have asked for a refund and I am bieng told i may not get it since i did not cancel the same day. How was I to know when on the website they state they ship in early march and April they would not get to me and may not be available. This company seems like a fraudulent company especially now that I read reviews on them.
Negative ImaLilyGirl
Omaha, NE
(4 reviews)
July 13, 2017
I ordered from Farmer Seed Company in Spring of 2016 and Spring of 2017. I spent over $200.00. The company shipped some good and some bad plants in 2016. A pear tree they have not replaced from 2016. I followed rules and they refuse to stand by the free guarantee replacement.
1. They say they will ship in 1-2 weeks, however, they wait 5-6 weeks so that credit card charges can not be disputed.
2. They refuse to cancel unfilled orders.
3. They instruct customers that receive dead plants to "make sure" by leaving them in the ground for a few weeks but by that time, they refuse to refund because you must send them back in 14 days. Nice catch 22 they have going.
4. If issues continue and customer wants their free replacement, they demand that customers write letters and send the shipping label and then claim it is not received even with USPS tracking, proof, pictures and documents. This way, they can tell the customer to again, mail in something they already received but the client no longer has possession of.
5.Next they claim they need proof of purchase, like a credit card statement, even though the company has records of payment and obviously mailed the order weeks after they received the funds. This is again, to dissuade the customer from continuing to get what they are owed, so they can keep the money and continue to run their fraudulent business.
6. If they do refund anything, it is in the form of a certificate, which they take months to process and ONLY if the customer bugs them to do so.
7. The certificate has to be mailed in for yet ANOTHER ORDER and it expires. The customer is roped into their scheme again. And do you think that they will return any overage?
In 2017 most of the order was dead, damaged, missing or wrong item shipped. This year they started demanding that customers actually ship the dead plants back, at further cost of course. So I paid $7 to ship them back. I sent the dead plants with documents and writing and the shipping label via USPS tracking too. They sent back no refund, no replacement only a letter asking for more money for the free pear tree replacement claiming prices went up. However in 2016, they told be they couldn't ship till 2017 and besides, it's a free replacement, no charge. There was dirt on the paper from the plants and staple marks from stapling the shipping label yet they told me I have to send a letter in writing claiming that the shipping label must have been "lost in the mail."
So I emailed them all the proof and I'm sending my correspondence from a legal office. There needs to be a class action lawsuit against this company that conducts it's illegal practices under 10-13 different business names.
This company has thousands and thousands of complaints online. They defraud their customers continuously and they boldly lie. I have documented proof. They have stolen over $100. from me alone.
Here are just some of the other complaints besides this page:
There are many other pages.

There is no doubt that this company practices fraudulently to deceive the consumer. This needs to be handled by the Attorney General to protect citizens from further fraud.
Other names they use: FARMER SEED & NURSERY Direct Gardening Royal Dutch-Burgess Seed-Richard Owen Nursery-Four Seasons Nursery-House Of Wesely,, House of Wesley, Royal Dutch, Burgess Seed & Plant, Exciting Gardens, Four Sea

Company representative comment on July 14, 2017:
On Jul 14, 2017 11:27 AM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience. It does state on our site the following:

"Please allow 1-2 weeks for your order to be processed. We will then ship based on weather and availability of the plants."

This has nothing to do with the charge card company will no longer let you file a claim, but is based upon available stock and when the best time is to ship.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them. This guarantee has not changed this year.

We are affiliated with other companies but these are separate companies, not different names for the same company.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative tombaak
High Desert, NV (Zone 5a)
(25 reviews)
May 19, 2017
WARNING: If you close the account you paid with,
you will not get a refund.

THIS COMPANY IS HEARTLESS! Flowers are a symbol of love and life, and this company has taken the death of my mother in law as an opportunity to benefit their bottom line.

My mother in law placed a $600+ dollar order the week before her death. When the first box arrived a few days after she passed away I returned the box and contacted the company to let them know it was being returned and why. I asked them to please cancel any remaining shipments and was informed that 5 other boxes had just shipped. I told the representative that those boxes would be returned as well once they arrived.

This company uses MANY names. Dutch Gardens (the name I ordered from) refunded the contents of the first box, but when I called to find out why the other 5 boxes hadn't been refunded, the representative confirmed that all the merchandise had been returned, but told me that the company would only refund to the debit card that paid and since the debit card was no longer valid (checking account had been closed due to death) they had no way to refund the orders. I requested they issue a check to the estate, or simply give store credit for the remaining amount. I was told that the request would be forwarded on the the appropriate person.

It has now been 9 months, I have called several times, and each time I am told the request for refund has been made, but the company stands by their policy of not refunding returned orders if they are unable to refund to the card that placed the order.

Basically, this company does not dispute the fact that they received this entire order back. They simply refuse to issue a refund in any form other than to credit a debit card that is not valid, and won't accept a charge or credit.

I wish I had kept the plants and spread them around to her many gardener friends and planted some of them with my girls in our own garden to remember their grandma by. I was just so overwhelmed by the unexpected death that anything other than returning the boxes seemed more than I could manage.

The death of a loved one is a very emotional and exhausting time, and this company has made what should have been very easy, a difficult and enduring challenge.
Negative Jreincke
Hillsboro, OR
(1 review)
May 18, 2017
The worst company and worst customer service ever! Ordered back on April 6th and just received order yesterday - May 17 after I had to email them twice. They told me they had forgotten about my order. Mt order is way past planting time for some of my plants. My order was around $95. The plants are all beat up in the plastic bag that I received everything in. One of the roses lost a branch. Missing dirt as it all fell out of the little pots. I ordered several plants including bare root roses. The roses came with white fuzzy mold on it. We shall see if any of my plants survive. If they do not thrive within the next two months I will be calling my credit card company and charging back this transaction. I will not put up with subpar customer service and subpar products.


Farmer Seed can also save their response. Not interested in hearing back from you at this point after the rude phone call and lack of care to my email. I complained about my plants and all they said was "that is too bad. Have a nice day". No course of action.
Negative Tkem
Williamsport, PA
(1 review)
May 8, 2017
This was my second year ordering from farmer seed. Last year was great, however my order this year which I placed over the winter was not the same experience. My order was for 28 plants totalling over a hundred dollars. I received the order a couple days ago and only received 7 of the 28 plants with a sticker on the package saying the rest will ship a year from now. One of the plants I didn't get was a $50 tree. When you pay for an order on the site they clearly state that if anything is not avail they will provide written notice and they had 4 months to notify me as I don't even want an order this incomplete. When I called he told me he could do nothing because they are not the nursury themselves and would not give me contact info. When I would not accept that he hung up on me. Very poor customer service and will not be doing business with them again.
Company representative comment on May 17, 2017:
On May 17, 2017 10:41 AM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this problem. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.

Negative Oxoned
Columbia, MO
(1 review)
April 11, 2017
Received dead plants, followed the instructions to "make sure" by leaving them in the ground for a few weeks but nope, dead.

Found out later that I had to return the _mailing label_ because the receipt I was emailed is not considered proof of payment. I got a document from my bank showing proof the money was paid, but then they wanted me to snail-mail it to an address NOT ON THEIR SITE. The address is to Four Seasons nursery who is, conveniently, not picking up their phone. By the time all this is done, I will not be able to plant this year.

Note I just wanted a *replacement* not a refund. This is a scam operation, avoid at all costs.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:47 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Our guarantee regarding replacement is as follows:
If any item you purchased from us does not live, or if you are certain that your plants are dead, for a FREE REPLACEMENT just RETURN THE ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL along with your written request within 1 year of receipt. Replacement guarantee is VOID unless the original shipping label is returned.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative 3736ph
Cudahy, WI
(1 review)
March 8, 2017
I ordered some strawberry plants, and received them on March 8. I live in Wisconsin, and early March is way to early to plant much of anything. I've contacted them, and will update as necessary.
Company representative comment on April 7, 2017:
On Apr 7, 2017 10:52 AM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.

Negative WilliamlWorth
Troy, ID
(1 review)
October 25, 2016
I ordered many trees and other garden related plants this year. The total order came to 337.05 and that was a good price if everthing lived. But as so many have stated in their review's the majority of my plants have died. And to make things worst the company Farmers Seed and Nursery have not lived up to their promise. We have sent in the asked for Documents and recieved nothing in return but our letters which we sent to them. I thought they would at least call me and explain my options. William Worthington ,Troy,Idaho. I will not order from them in the future.
Company representative comment on November 4, 2016:
On Nov 4, 2016 12:55 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance

Negative KeweeGardener
Lake Linden, MI
(2 reviews)
July 27, 2016
I ordered by email, receiving an email confirmation. My items arrived late even though my card was charged immediately. My seeds performed adequately, but not super well. The blue potatoes failed with not a single plant sprouting. My potatoes from another source did very well. I included my confirmation email with my complaint to the company, proving that I am the purchaser. I asked for a refund to my credit card. I received a response, eventually, that said I needed to mail my shipping label for a credit. I needed to first class mail my label to receive credit for a $3.00 purchase!!! No thanks! I will never purchase from them again and I will discourage everyone to pass this company by.
Company representative comment on August 4, 2016:
On Aug 4, 2016 11:21 AM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available.We do not require the label be returned first class mail.

We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Negative wpfulton
Baltimore, MD
(1 review)
June 27, 2016
Like many of the other negative reviews I have been trying to get replacements for numerous dead plants. Farmer Seed and Nursery returned my actual paper correspondence with an accompanying form letter stating that the plants they ship are "dormant" and to allow another six weeks for "sprouting". It has already been six weeks. They also demanded the original shipping label which I do not now have since I sent that to them with my original request. I am glad I did not place too large an order with them. It is my first and last order no matter how this is resolved.
Positive Woodstrail
Burnsville, MN
(1 review)
April 19, 2016
Last year, I purchased 120 Privet Hedge at a very good price. They were much larger than I thought they would be for the price, very good root system, healthy and in good condition. The order took an extra three weeks to get to my house, but other than that I love my plants! Not one plant died during our winter here in Minnesota!! I expected to loose at least a couple. I ordered another 40 this year and the order was filled in a very timely fashion and the trees are in the ground and I am expecting more good growing with these! Thank you Farmer Seed and Nursery!!
Negative OS_Fruit_Farm
Zanesville, OH
(3 reviews)
January 29, 2016
I had placed my spring order and we had a hard dry summer. I lost half my order. I requested replacements and they said it was to late to ship for the fall. The next spring got here and still no replacements.
I was told it was over looked, they would ship in the fall. Fall and still no replacements. Farmer Seed & Nursery is also Richard Owen Nursery and Burgess Seed and Plant Co. My total order with the three companies that are one in the same totaled over $600 dollars.
I will never do business with these companies again. I am now turning to our State Attorney General Office for help.
Negative Crazysweets
York, ND
(4 reviews)
July 14, 2015
I ordered 6 raspberries, 2 manchurian apricots, 2 juneberries, 2 honey berries from Farmer Seed, aka: Burgess, Richard Owen Nursery on January 22, 2015. I received 2 buffaloberry plants instead of the june berry the middle of May. So I sent in the shipping label right away per their request after I called them to notify them. They said they received it and had it on file numerous times. I planted all the trees immediately. June 1, 2015 I notified them that all there trees except the apricots showed no life and were presumed dead when they arrived. I have written and emailed and each time I get a different story, they are being shipped, no they are not. We don't have your shipping label, yes we do, no we don't. I still have not received any tree replacements or any juneberries. Complete waste of money. Total cost was over $100. Plus I lost out on plants, I could of reordered but had hoped they would honor there guarantee.
Positive clarion811
Chicago, IL
(1 review)
June 16, 2015
Farmer Seed and Nursery sends a big free catalog with large pictures and notes on each plant and seed. Their selection covers most of the basic needs for Midwest gardeners.
I ordered 75 strawberry plants and a rhubarb root from Farmer Seed online in early May, 2015. I read their notice to allow several weeks for delivery. I am in Illinois and they are in Minnesota. At the end of May I sent the company an email asking for delivery timeframe. I received an email acknowledging my order and informing me that they were just getting into the fields for plants so it wouldn't be much longer. My plants were delivered the next week in a heavy plastic shipping bag. I worried, but the plants were in perfect condition. Some were sprouting. With one day soaking their roots almost all plant were showing sprouts. (Because of the extremely wet conditions across the Midwest I had already had to replace some strawberries from another company because they came moldy.) I was so impressed I ordered more plants at a sale price. I truly wonder if most of the negative comments about Farmer Seed is because people don't recognize the necessary delay, don't understand "bareroot" shipping, and DON'T READ THE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS SENT WITH THEIR DELIVERY.
I will be recommending Farmer Seed to members of our active Community Garden network here in Chicago as a valuable source for seeds and plants.
Negative cvt
Hart, MI
(4 reviews)
June 12, 2015
Do NOT under any circumstances order from Farmer Seed and Nursery. Not only did it take over a month to get plants shipped from Illinois, everything was dead, shipped in a plastic bag (WTF???). Called and spoke to the most rude 'customer service' rep I've ever dealt with. After being repeatedly called Ma'am, even after being corrected, I spoke to her 'supervisor' who was even ruder than the first 'person' I spoke with. Sure, they'll refund your payment, but you have to pay shipping both ways. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Neutral Halfgallon
North Manchester, IN
(1 review)
April 3, 2015
I recieved a catalog in the mail , It is a very nice catalog ... with wonderful pictures . I have not heard of this company before so I looked online to see how this company is doing.
I found that it is a subsidiary company owned by Plantron that is linked to Monsanto.
Negative evolution66
Camanche, IA
(1 review)
June 6, 2014
Please for the love of god do not order "anything" from this company. You will be extremely disappointed. 24 walk on me plants.... no idea what to plant it's like an actual 1 inch "potted plant" dead and dried to bits. All the other plants are thrown in a giant green bag and shoved in your mail box .... very disappointing. I'll be going to my local lowes or menards to replace the crap they sent and wait till next year to get the other"harder to find" items from parkseed, garden harvest supply, or fastgrowing It is seriously not worth wasting your time., with these guys... You'd have better luck reviving a dead sea horse and riding it .
Positive kar4876
Trenton, FL
(1 review)
April 8, 2014
We received a catalog randomly in the mail - everything looked so wonderful (including the prices) I read some reviews. After reading several reviews, many which were negative, we decided to place a small order, under $100, and were pleasantly surprised!!! I have horrible luck with plants so when what looked like dead sticks arrived, I was sure to thoroughly read the manual, and everything is growing wonderfully!!! My husband ordered Siberian Elms for a hedge along the side of our property, and I ordered a variety of ground cover flowers as well as perennials. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS PEOPLE!!!! As far as shipping, it took about 3 weeks, but they clearly explain it takes up to 2 weeks to gather the order and may have to wait for favorable weather conditions for shipping certain plants. I am now going to place a huge order - hope this helps the undecided!
Company representative comment on April 13, 2014:
On Apr 13, 2014 3:35 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.

Negative tmtrvlr
Lonsdale, MN
(1 review)
June 28, 2013
I purchased from this company because there is a local store, and I would not have to pay for postage. I also bought seeds from other sources. All of the packages that we purchased at Farmer Seed & Nursery have VERY low germination. We purchased some very expensive seeds and were very disappointed. We had normal results from seeds purchased elsewhere.
Neutral boydlindsayn
Annville, PA
(1 review)
May 27, 2013
I ordered two banana trees Four weeks ago and waited the 2 weeks for processing, which seems a bit much to me, and then waited another week before they arived. While I did get my plants on time, I certainly did not like the way they were shipped. Both trees were shipped in the same thick green bag that was stappled so that no air could get in, while my trees' roots were still covered in soil, one was moist while he other was dry, there was no protection from the shipping process except the plastic bag and a small sliver of cardboard that was bent over each tree, I guess for suport, and a healthy banana tree has leaves that are percky and stick out with one little curled up leaf in the middle that will unfold and allow the plant to grow, only one of the trees looked like this, the other was squished almost flat without the center leaf. While I may or may not continue business with them I certainly do not like my plants being handled that way. I prefer to have a tree in a pot at the post office that I can pick up and not get in the mail on the hottest day of the spring, reaching about 90 degrees outside, let alone in the mailbox! We will see how well the trees live and I thank everyone for stating there returing issues, I made sure to keep all of the paperwork in case one is to die.
Negative mrTommmm
Billerica, MA
(1 review)
May 14, 2013
I ordered some plants. One seemed dormant (or dead).
I waited three weeks and it was dead.
I contacted customer support who said I should send them the _original_packaging_ the plants came in and they would replace the plant.

Who keeps the original _packaging_???
Negative lcarlson
Arden Hills, MN (Zone 4a)
(6 reviews)
May 8, 2013
I bought numerous plants from various vendors for a large garden I'm starting. I received a catalog from Farmers Seed and figured that I should check them out since they're local. Unfortunately, I had the same experiences some of you had; horrible plants and worse customer service.

I purchased $150 worth of plants through them. They were one of the first vendors to send me plants, so to be fair, I dont have much to compare them to. I've never ordered plants online before, but I did receive a beautiful Japanese Maple and some nice varieties of hibiscus from Wayside Gardens and was really pleased with them. They sent their plants in pots, really well packed, with an invoice, in a cardboard box.

I'm very new to this "bare root" thing and quite frankly, my recent experience tells me that I will never accept that mode of transport for plants again, not that I had a choice in the matter with Farmers Seed. I didnt know the plants would ship like this. The plants came in horrible-looking condition, stacked on top of each other in one large bag. The individual plants were packaged mostly in plastic baggies and/or stapled cardboard. Some of the bare root stuff was exposed and not wrapped at all, and some was wrapped in a ridiculous amount of plastic and tape or staples. For example, my variegated weigelia was a stick with completely dry roots. Nothing was protecting those roots from snapping off in the massive garbage-like bag they shipped this in. My hibiscus' were sticks with plastic package-taped around the roots, which I havent viewed, but there seems to be no moisture in there at all. The Harry Lauder Walking Stick which was advertised to be a "healthy 12-15 inches" was a 3" single stick with a small root ball wrapped in a plastic baggie and stapled to itself. I'm the most dissapointed about this one as other vendors sell it for the same price in a trade gallon sized pot. The root ball was completely dry. The Empress Wu, another plant I was super excited about. came with a sad-looking, droopy, 3" leaf again with the tiny root ball wrapped in plastic, stapled and then a cardboard teepee stapled to death around it. What a mess to unwrap!!

So, I unwrapped everything, except the taped hibiscus and bagged bulbs, sprayed some water on them, and decided to call Famers Seed to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, this made matters worse. The lady sounded very crabby. She told me that the order number I had given her off the bat "isnt going to help me at all". I told her about my experience and she cut me off telling me to return the items with a letter stating why I was returning them.

There was no apology or explanation. There wasnt any attempt to keep my business. I'm going to have to pay for shipping. There is no invoice to put in the order, and I have to print out a letter stating why I was returning the plants. I didn't even ask how long it would take to get a refund as she was so curt and rude, I just wanted to get off the phone with her.
This is, by far, the worst customer service I've ever received. Minnesota nice...hmmmm. What a complete bummer. Anyone have a Walking Stick they can sell me as everyone is sold out now??? :(
Negative simplypaul
Opelika, AL
(2 reviews)
May 5, 2013
50% of my shipment never came to "life". I understand that they ship bare root and the plants are dormant but it has been over a month and half since I have planted the items and no signs of life. Torch Lilies-roots were mush and rotten, Japanese toad lily-mush and rotten, Ranunculus-dried out. They included some free gifts which were all rotten and mushy. Which I don't care about the free gifts being I did not pay for the items but if your going to send free gifts at least let them be somewhat alive. I would have given them a neutral rating but I spent time, money and energy planting all the listed above items hoping that they would make it. Of course they did not. My two pepper plants, Stargazer Lilies, and Voodoo lilies are doing great. Such high hope I had for all the plants I received from Farmer Seed and Nursery to grow and thrive, only to be let down.
Company representative comment on July 30, 2013:
On Jul 30, 2013 3:02 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Negative Knee
Lenexa, KS
(1 review)
April 23, 2013
Received 75 strawberry plants from Farmer Seed company,
4 bunches of onion plants, 4 rhubarb roots and 12 Heritage
Red Raspberry plants on 4/17/13. The red onion plants were
the size of matchsticks, strawberry plants dry with no green
on most of them, and rhubarb were the size of a pencil. Do
not know if I will live long enough to see these roots produce.
Will not order from this company again!! As it is a waste of
my time and money.
Jack Hazlett
Company representative comment on April 30, 2013:
On Apr 30, 2013 1:33 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Positive dukegg1
Pitman, NJ (Zone 7a)
(3 reviews)
April 10, 2013
Simply ordered a few bulbs & they arrived quickly & in good shape. They also included a free plant which wasnt expected by me on such a small order. Id use them again.
Company representative comment on April 30, 2013:
On Apr 30, 2013 1:29 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Thank you! We are happy to hear that your order arrived in good shape. We look forward to being of service in the future!

Positive kristenMD
Calverton, MD
(1 review)
March 24, 2013
After reading all of the reviews, I was nervous about placing my order. I placed my order on 9 March (and hoped for the best!). I received my plants--packaged nicely--on the 22nd. The citrus plants look fantastic and the berries like sticks (but that is typical), the pepper plant a little wilted, but it's in soil now. I've just started planting now so time will tell on how well they do. I hope to post back in a few months with an update, but as far as the ordering and delivery, I'm satisfied with the service and the plants. They even sent two seed packets (tomato and cantaloupe) and two types of bulbs (gladiolas and shamrock) as a gift for my order.

I figured I'd offer my experience because it seemed to be different than most (or perhaps when things go as they should, we tend not to follow up?). Either way, so far so good on my order and delivery. Good luck planting!
Company representative comment on April 30, 2013:
On Apr 30, 2013 1:27 PM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Thank you for your post! We are happy to hear that you are happy with the service and your plants. Happy Gardening!

Negative justinel
York, SC
(1 review)
October 18, 2012
I placed an order 2nd week of September as I had ripped up the spaces to be planted and as everything ordered was "in-stock" I would be ready. By the end of Sept I had received a few PACKETS of seeds. Trying to call them...NIGHTMARE. 168.15 I spent. "when" I reached them they basically blew me off and when I questioned them about ALL the negative items I have read (too stupidly late on my part) first they went on to say how they send out tons of orders (1 mil is not that big) and a few "complainers" meant nothing...they then told me I could cancel my order by ....ready....WRITING them a letter! I asked WHEN will I get the order..."oh we will get back to you". I then Hoovered them and tried to find any person other than "Ruthie or Cindy" to tell me WHEN I would get my no avail. I called again THIS MORNING and was called "nasty" because after LOSING 168.15, I was not feeling all that sweet. I then emailed on a sister site and got the following reply:
Thank you for your email regarding your order. We have checked on your order and found that it is currently in our shipping department and scheduled to ship at any time. Please allow some time for delivery once the order has been shipped.

Also, just as a reminder, be sure to hold onto the original shipping label that will come on the outside of the package for your one year guarantee.

Thank you and Happy Gardening!
Thank you,

Customer Care
I then sent them the following:
I have to be honest with you – your reputation online is not a bunch of negative hear-say – it is truth. I am ashamed to say that I did not look until AFTER 4 weeks had passed and my card had been charged and I had receive a few packets of seeds…

My order is scheduled to “ship at any time now” IS NOT ACCEPTABLE – WHEN is it shipping? My order has been in your order dept for well over a month…I would like the date it will arrive so that I have the opportunity to inspect it as your reputation is horrible really horrible and I don’t want to spend another several weeks trying to return pitiful specimens.

How you could treat someone the way I have been treated AFTER you took 168.15 from me is appalling. I am adding my experience to the rest of them as I have a feeling that I too will receive dead plants – if any of those I ordered.

I will not order from you again and like the many others I wish I had read about your online reputation sooner and given my hard earned monies to a local nursery.

Justine L
And I have not heard a thing (WOW SURPRISE) but I have now added this to all the rest. I learned my lesson and I hope that anyone that is swayed by the beautiful catalog will NOT do what I did...order first and read reviews later.
Company representative comment on October 19, 2012:
On Oct 19, 2012 11:46 AM, Farmer Seed and Nursery responded with:

Our website does state the following

"Please allow 1-2 weeks for your order to be processed. After your order has been processed, we will ship according to weather and the availability of the plant material. We continue to ship through the summer and fall as long as the items are still available"

Most bulbs and perennials are usually available by September. Some deciduous trees and shrubs are not available until October.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.

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